Title: The Street Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Published: 28th October 2010
Inspired! Truly inspired! This being my first John Grisham book ever, I went into it with slight skepticism, not knowing entirely what to expect. No don’t worry I assumed it would be about law or law related affairs, but I didn’t know whether it was going to be serious and textbooky! Never the less I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it and discovered that it was in fact very technical but very moving at the same time, and let’s not forget that I am drawn to the more emotional side of…anything.
This book delves into various aspects of the life of a big-time lawyer, Michael Brock, who never before took one moment to think about his fellow human beings all because his ultimate goal in life was to bill his hours and become partner in the multimillion dollar firm Drake & Sweeney. But an incident with a homeless veteran leaves him scared and ready to rethink his life. He learns the truth about the city he lives in and how it’s filled with those much less fortunate whom very few people give a second thought to. On his quest to find morale redemption, he runs into the loud, dedicated and passionate Mordecai Green who pulls him into the throngs of public interest law.
One evening, when volunteering for the first time at a homeless shelter he makes the acquaintance of a young woman; Lontae Burton and her four children, who he immediately vows to take care of and protect. Not having any children of his own he forms a bond with the youngest child Ontario and even changes a baby diaper for the woman too exhausted to keep her eyes open. Two nights later he learns the devastating news that a terrible snowstorm swept the District and the young family was found dead in the wrecked car that served as their home. Outraged, distraught and with a heavy heart he no longer knows what to do with his life, until he discovers the truth of a wrongful eviction on the part of Drake & Sweeney which had left the family homeless in the first place.
On the verge of a crumbling marriage, he gives up his job and any ideas of an easy, wealthy retirement , to be able to provide justice for those whose rights are neglected and whose views are never considered, for money he never would have dreamt of accepting a few weeks ago. He joins the 14th Street Legal Clinic in an attempt to right the wrongs of his selfish past, and bring down those who assume they can walk on those who cannot stand for themselves and not pay a price for their damages. He becomes one with the streets and its inhabitants. A bona-fide ‘Street Lawyer’.
Grisham manages to capture all the nitty-gritty of the lives of those less fortunate while capturing the emotional attachment that the lawyers form towards protecting their clients and doing what is right. He encapsulated the passion with which lawyers are prepared to stand before a jury to prove their point in an attempt to right the wrongs done to those who cannot defend themselves. It brings forth a very selfless aspect of public interest law and passes the message that it could be a career choice which definitely ensures a moral satisfaction and sense of nobility.
This book brought out the side of me which remains passionate about putting forth a well thought out argument and having to argue on a cause I believe in. The powers of debate are incredible and this book was a fantastic source of inspiring arguments and argumentative skills.
A very moving fiction story but based on the real life situations going on around the world whereby the wealthy get by without paying any heed to the effects that their actions have on those around them. A perfect case study of how governments claim to act in the benefit of everyone while hiding away the aspect of their laws they are not proud of. Its only when one person stands up to fight for what is right that the whole truth will be exposed and then, and only then can we right the wrongs that have been done.
A definite 5 out of 5 for this obviously well thought out plot and captivating story!